Carbon Dioxide Laser Feasible in Primary Lentigo Maligna

Recurrence rate of 6.7 percent during a mean follow-up of 77.8 months

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Carbon dioxide laser ablation could be an alternative treatment for managing primary lentigo maligna, according to a study published in the November/December issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.

Haemi Lee, M.D., from the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, and colleagues compared the outcomes in managing primary lentigo maligna using three modalities of treatment: surgical excision, radiation therapy, and carbon dioxide laser ablation. Data from 75 patients (aged 39 to 93 years; mean age, 64.8 years) with primary lentigo maligna, who were diagnosed and treated from 1991 to 2010, were reviewed retrospectively.

The investigators found that 73 patients chose treatment, of which 27, 31, and 15 patients were treated with surgical excision, radiation therapy, and carbon dioxide laser ablation, respectively. Their median follow-up was 16.6, 46.3, and 77.8 months, respectively. Surgical excision, radiation therapy, and carbon dioxide laser ablation had recurrence rates of 4.2, 29, and 6.7 percent, respectively.

"A trend toward lower recurrence rates with surgical excision and carbon dioxide laser ablation was identified, but the results were not statistically significant. Carbon dioxide laser ablation may have a role as an alternative treatment for lentigo maligna among patients in whom standard treatments, such as surgical excision and radiation therapy, are declined or carry significant morbidity," the authors write.

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